Prepare For U.S. Standardized Tests, Undergraduate

Prepare for Standardized Tests

As part of the application process, most undergraduate programs require one or more U.S. standardized test scores. Your test scores, academic record, and other factors are used to predict how well you will do as a university student. The test scores are one way to compare students from the United States and international students from different educational systems. 

In the United States, there is no national college entrance examination administered by the government that students must pass to gain admission to higher education. Rather, different universities or schools establish their own admission requirements, including which third-party standardized test they accept. 

A number of U.S. higher education institutions have recently gone test optional, meaning they do not need test scores to make admissions decisions and students have the choice of whether they submit standardized test scores as part of their application materials. Due to the difficulty of taking in-person standardized exams in some parts of the world (during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond), students applying to test optional schools are not penalized if they do not submit standardized test results.

Standardized tests should be taken a year to 18 months before you plan on studying. Many students take the exams more then once to achieve higher scores. There are many websites, books, and tutors available to help you prepare.

English Language Ability Tests

Being able to communicate in English is a basic requirement for successful undergraduate study in the United States. If English is not your native language, U.S. colleges and universities will ask you to take an English Language proficiency test before admission. To understand what test(s) are needed for specific educational goals, students should consult their nearest EducationUSA advising center.

Admissions Tests

Most colleges and universities in the United States require standardized testing for undergraduate admissions. Admission requirements vary, so be sure to confirm which test(s), if any, you need with the institutions that interest you. The underrgraduate-level examinations:

ACT:  A curriculum-based multiple-choice assessment that tests reading, English, mathematics, and science, with an optional essay section. The ACT is widely accepted at accredited two and four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

SATA test that measures critical reading, writing, and mathematical abilities. The SAT Subject Tests measure knowledge in specific subject areas. The SAT is widely accepted at accredited two and four-year colleges and universities in the United States.